Just days before Christmas, another VA facility has torn down any vestiges of the holiday from public view.
At the Audie Murphy VA Hospital in San Antonio, Vietnam Vet Ethel Holloway has put up Christmas decorations in one unit of the center – decorations she paid for with her own money.
But late last week, one person said they were offended by the decorations so they were torn down and thrown away.
“They ruined our decorations,” she told KENS5. “They threw them out.”
Even more stupefying, they didn’t take down all of the decorations, just ones they must have thought represented religion, or something.
For example, here’s the display that said “Merry Christmas” with Santa and the sleigh flying over above:
VA workers took down the words “Merry Christmas” and left Santa flying over a blank space:
They also removed a middle car from a display showing three train cars. The middle car read “Merry Christmas.”
Here’s a photo before the train was dissected and discarded:
It’s mind-boggling in its idiocy, but the VA defended their selective destruction of the Holiday display:
VA greatly appreciates holiday donations and volunteerism by students and organizations on behalf of Veterans of all faiths and backgrounds. We continue to accept religious cards and Christmas carols for our patients who celebrate Christmas, as we do for Veterans who celebrate religious holidays of all faiths. In this particular case, we received a number of complaints about the decorations being overly religious and offensive. Veterans entered the military to protect our freedoms, including the freedom to practice a religion of our choice. At VA, it is our duty to uphold and respect the honor and sacrifice of all Veterans, from all faiths and backgrounds.
During the mass destruction, they also tore down and threw away a manger scene, including Baby Jesus, Mary and Joseph.
Holloway says this is an unfortunate sign of the times.
“This stuff of taking down Christmas and not saying ‘Merry Christmas,’ you have to say ‘happy holidays’ and everything, I think it’s gone overboard,” she said.
Holloway also had pictures of Hanukkah decorations and one saying Feliz Navidad, that she says the hospital left untouched.
At a VA facility in Salem, Virginia, last month, employees were banned from saying “Merry Christmas” in public for fear of offending the delicate sensibilities of those who don’t celebrate Christmas.
About Robert Gehl
Robert Gehl is a college professor in Phoenix, Arizona. He has over 15 years journalism experience, including two Associated Press awards. He lives in Glendale with his wife and two young children.